Tinariwen’s music speaks for Kel Tamashek, the Tuaregs, and their desert home, the “tenere.” Formed in 1979, the group’s latest LP (Emmaar) is a continuation of Tinariwen’s rhythmic, and at times incredibly psychedelic, Saharan desert blues. Unlike previous output, the new album was recorded in the U.S., specifically Joshua Tree, California — the dusty cradle of “cosmic” American music — due to violent political instability in the band’s home in Northern Mali.

A return to form following their previous (mostly) acoustic album,Tassili, Emmaar is a heady, droning, affair aided and abetted by guitarist Matt Sweeney and the Nashvillian multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplan. The group is presently wrapping up a US tour before heading to Europe. See them live. You’ll thank me later.

After the jump:
Debut of the new video for “Chaghaybou”, off the Emmaar LP, directed by Antoine Carlier.

Maison Dufrene

Introducing the bouillabaisse of sound that is Maison Dufrene – a vintage vinyl-only serving of southern soul, r&b, country, blues, gospel and beyond. The first of an ongoing collaboration with Louisiana record collector, dj and musicologist, Paul Dufrene. So go ahead, ease back and enjoy some Lonnie Mack. 

Download/tracklisting after the jump…

stackedMusic historian John “Johnny D” Dixon must not sleep. In between hosting the freeform “Mostly Vinyl” and “Totally Jazzed” programs on Phoenix’s KWSS FM and creating a special Record Store Day single featuring Waylon Jennings and Sanford Clark — which I had the pleasure of helping produce — Dixon has cranked out a voluminous new collection of southwestern soul, Sha-Boom Bang! Vintage Arizona Doo Wop, R’n'B, Soul & Funk: 1956-71.

The CD features 31 songs – ranging from the slinky “Pink Panther,” a Lee Hazlewood-penned novelty jam performed by The Tads, to sweltering funk by Chuck Womack & the Sweet Souls, whose “Ham Hocks & Beans Pt. 1 and 2” suggests a sunbaked Meters, to Latino soul from Lon Rogers and the Soul Blenders. Featuring extensive liner notes by Dan Nowicki and rare photographs, the compilation serves as a companion to excellent Grand Canyon soul collections like Numero Group’s Mighty Mike Lenaberg and Flyin’ High: A Collection of Phoenix Blues, Rhythm, and Spirit from the 1950s and 60s in documenting Arizona’s golden age of soul and R&B.

This track, Butch McGhee’s “Stacked” from 1958, is one of the collection’s most evocative, a fantastically raunchy nugget that wouldn’t sound out of place over on Tittyshakers – a most excellent resource for sleazy sounds. To pick up Sha-Boom Bang! visit Dixon’s official site. words / j woodbury

Butch McGhee :: Stacked

“Dark Days”– the first taste from Jolie Holland’s upcoming LP, Wine Dark Sea, out next month via Anti Records. Both it and a cheap-o used copy of Neil Young’s Live Rust, that I recently re-bought, have lived side by side on my car’s passenger seat the past month. And in contrast to Holland’s previous output, the two are very much kin, sonically. Described in the production notes as skirting the line between noise rock, free jazz and swamp blues, Wine Dark Sea, and “Dark Days” in particular, feels noir, lived in, caustic and not entirely of this time.


1968 French language rendering of Jackson C. Frank’s “Blues Run The Game“, courtesy of Graeme Allwright. Frank’s haunting, Paul Simon produced, 1965 debut was reissued earlier this year via Earth Recordings. And if you’re not familiar with Frank, you may remedy that, here.

Graeme Allwright :: Je Perds Ou Bien Je Gagne

wax wonders

The amount of superb soul records (from the obscure to the massive hits) that were waxed in Detroit is a near bottomless well of greatness. Following the lead of Berry Gordy’s Motown empire, dozens of young artists latched on to the label’s independent spirit, using their talents to write, record, arrange, produce and perform…all with the hopes of emulating Motown’s worldwide success.

Welcome to Detroit Soul, Part 1. This series is in no way chronological; it’s simply a celebration of this wonderful music that is far too unknown outside of the circles of fanaticism.

The Parliaments :: Heart Trouble (1965)

Beyond the fact that it’s an excellent song and production, The Parliaments’ “Heart Trouble” is a very important record for a number of reasons. Catchy as all get out, beautifully sang and performed, I firmly believe the record could have been a massive hit had Golden World Records been armed with the kind of promotional muscle to really push it.

Prior to George Clinton’s decision to revive the group in 1965, The Parliaments had cut a few sides in the 1950s only to languish in obscurity. With his fingers in the production, writing and performance pies, Clinton was one of the major players on the outside-of-Motown Detroit talent pool throughout the mid to late sixties. His fingerprints were everywhere. George later reworked this song into “You Can’t Miss What You Can’t Measure”; a key track from Funkadelic’s 1973 LP, Cosmic Slop.

Steve Mancha :: Friday Night (1967)

Born Clyde Wilson (he wrote a few tunes for Motown under his real name, including the amazing “Number One In Your Heart”, as performed by the Monitors), producer Don Davis suggested that the name Steve Mancha would be more commercially viable. “Steve Mancha” went on to become a Detroit soul legend, even though his records never became national hits.

“Friday Night” captures the ‘pistol’ sound that is a trademark of so many Detroit soul records; namely, the rhythm sounds like an auto assembly line in the midst of production. With super soulful vocals, and the record has a hypnotic arrangement thanks to the low drone of the baritone sax.

wax wonders 2

Dee Edwards :: You Say You Love Me (1964)

This track shows that there was far more to Detroit soul than the sound of firing pistons; this is a city responsible for plenty of gorgeous ballads and mid-tempo groovers. I especially love the prominence of the Hammond organ, here, and the pitch control that Dee Edwards uses when she glides into the perfect note. It has a great, smooth, Mary Wells/ Barbara Lewis  sound. Dee Edwards had a long career in music which culminated in a big disco hit with “Strangers On The Shore” in 1979. She passed away too young (age 60) in 2006.

Cynthia & The Imaginations :: There’s Something The Matter (With Your Heart) (1968)

This Detroit group released two singles, and both have the type of gorgeous, dream quality that we hear, here. Cynthia is Cynthia Girty, who later went on to work with P-Funk in the 1970′s, Maceo Parker, and David Ruffin.

Previously: Chicago Soul, Part One / Chicago Blues Finds Its Soul / The Soul Of NOLA, Part 1

(Derek See is a Bay area based musician who plays guitar with The Bang Girl Group Revue, Joel Gion & Primary Colours, and occasionally makes records on his own with The Gentle Cycle.)


We’re back in NYC. This Friday night, April 25th, Aquarium Drunkard presents Steve Gunn and Kevin Morby at Rough Trade in Brooklyn. Local outfit Prince Rupert’s Drops supports. We have several pairs of tickets for AD readers. To enter, leave a comment with how you first happened upon Gunn and/or Morby’s music. Should be a hell of a show.

Tickets available for purchase, HERE.


There are very few artists who had album runs like the one Stevie Wonder pulled off in the ’70s (the Stones come immediately to mind). The following set, from January of 1974, finds the artist in the midst of a creative high while touring the UK. Recorded after Innervisons and prior to Fulfillingness’ First Finale, the man is on fire, here — an incomparable force unto his own. Do not miss this.

Download: Stevie Wonder @ The Rainbow Theatre – London, 01/31/74 (zipped folder, external link)

Margo-GuryanOur weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST. Paul Dufrene sits in today. Look for our companion mixtape, Maison Dufrene, soon. . .

SIRIUS 337: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Margo Guryan – Sunday Morning ++ Jim Ford – Under Constructiion ++ Doris Troy – What’cha Gunna Do About It ++ Eddy Giles – Losin’ Boy ++ Major Lance – Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um ++ Joe Tex – I Believe I’m Gunna Make It ++ Percy Mayfield – Louisiana ++ Huey ‘Piano’ Smith – Free, Single and Disengaged ++ Lee Dorsey – Little Baby ++ Ernie K-doe – Here Come The Girls ++ Toussaint McCall – I’m Undecided ++ Rufus Jagneaux – Opelousas Sostan ++ Johnnie Allan – You Got Me Whistlin’ ++ Jessie Hill – I Studied Soul ++ Johnny Adams – Georgia Morning Dew ++ Ray Stinnett – Liberty Train ++ Lonnie Mack- Florida ++ Roger Miller – Meanwhile, Back In Abeline ++ Garnet Mimms – My Baby ++ The Drapels – Wondering ++ Arthur Conley – Love Comes And Goes ++  Bobby Bland – Today ++ Mable John – Shouldn’t I Love Him ++ Gene Clark – Life’s Greatest Fool ++ John Phillips – Topanga ++ Merle Haggard – I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am ++ John Hartford – In Tall Buildings ++ Linda Ronstadt – I Won’t Be Hangin’ ‘Round ++ Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash – The Pine Tree ++ Townes Van Zandt – Gypsy Friday ++ Michael Hurley – Hog Of The Forsaken ++ Chris Darrow – Lovers Sleep Abed Tonight ++ Dave Van Ronk – Dink’s Song ++ Bob Dylan – You’re A Big Girl Now (’74 outtake) ++ Bob Frank – Layin’ Around ++ The Byrds – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue ++ Solomon Burke – Can’t Nobody Love You ++ Ben E. King – It’s All Over ++ Wilson Pickett – For Better Or Worse ++ O.V. Wright – I Was Born All Over ++ Spyder Turner – Stand By Me

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.